Few scenarios play out more frustratingly than domestic disturbance issues. No one is immune to family tensions, and sometimes those tensions can escalate into violent violations of the law. Once the courts get involved in a domestic disturbance, you may become subject to a PFA (Protection from Abuse) order. If a PFA order is issued against you, your number one priority should be abiding by the terms of the PFA order.
The paramount condition of the PFA is the requirement that you avoid any contact with the person who sought the order. For most, this can be a tough pill to swallow—you may feel like you didn't get the last word or that even though emotions were running high, the entire ordeal has been a misunderstanding. What's the worst that can happen if you reach out and meet up, just to try and explain yourself?
Recently, an Upper Darby man did just that. He met up with his ex-wife after she'd taken out a PFA against him and, tragically, the meeting resulted in her murder. One moment, the man was simply the subject of a PFA order, the next, he was charged with murder.
Complying with the PFA Order Issued Against You
While the example above is extreme, the truth is that the relationship between you and your accuser is tenuous and the best thing you can do after you've had a PFA order issued against you is to hire an experienced attorney to counsel you. There is a veritable laundry list of things you can't do under a PFA order, including:
- Own or buy weapons
- Contact your accuser directly
- Contact your accuser through a third party
- Be in the same private space as your accuser
- Be in the same public space as your accuser
You can imagine that these rules will complicate your life in a variety of ways, especially if you share a home and/or custody of minor children with your accuser. No matter how complicated the PFA order makes your life, your best course of action is to comply with its terms and seek relief through the courts. If you fail to comply with the PFA order, you could be arrested and held in contempt of court. Not only will this criminal charge cost you possible jail time and fines, but it can give the civil court cause to extend the time period of the original PFA order.
How a Lawyer Can Help
There are several ways a Pennsylvania PFA attorney can help you overcome a PFA order. Depending on your circumstances, you might be able to contest the qualifying relationship or even the qualifying act. With the help of your attorney, you may be able to present credible defense evidence that overcomes your accuser's complaint. In some cases, you may be able to appeal the PFA order. If you need help with a PFA order in Pennsylvania, call attorney Joseph D. Lento at 888-535-3686 today.